spring break was a welcome breath of fresh air. with my julia child book in hand, i set off on an adventure to meet old friends in new places. first stop was scotland. i had a pitstop in edinburgh, and made my way across the country to the isle of mull. post grad school, my friend kathryn found herself in prague, met a dapper scotsman, and recently moved to tobermory where said fellow is a diver.
what a joy to meet up in such a gorgeous place!
and what a delicious time we had!
there was haggis (vegetarian!), and, of course, whiskey, and chocolate and cheese and chutneys! the real treasure was being with my friend, a woman i've missed dearly, but tasty treats never hurt anyone.
i always enjoyed kitchen time with kathryn and we made ourselves a feast...
crunchy roasted broccoli, a divine tomato and goat cheese tart, and nutloaf. the nutloaf was such a success i had to make another round for the mister upon my return home ( i have discovered a new way to stuff my face with lentils!).
i ground the nuts and beans the old fashioned way using a mortar and pestle
then i combined the goods with chopped carrot and celery, herbs, some broth, oats, and a pinch of flour. i went ahead and made us a cashew gravy for kicks as well. we topped the loaf with onion and drizzled on some oil to help them caramelize in the oven.
kathryn's tart featured a potato and onion crust (with fresh thyme!), fresh and sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar.
and then there was the broccoli. oh, glorious broccoli.
the nutloaf i made for the mister and i featured lentils cooked with a bay leaf, mushroom stock, oats, mushrooms, a blob of tomato paste, cashews, carrots, onion, and celery
it made a tasty dinner, with roasted potatoes and asparagus, but sliced was even more perfect as a take-away snack for airport fun.
1/2 cup crunched up cashews
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup oats
1/4+ cup mushroom stock (dont make it too mushy, but just add enough to moisten the mixture)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp tomater paste
1 tsp salt
i mashed everything together with my hands and put it in an oiled bread pan. everything was baked for about 45 minutes at 350/175.
i returned to switzerland for a day before running away to france to see another friend from grad school who has now found herself avec une nouvelle vie near nice. i brought a gift of pinto beans and we also feasted. stacy's husband knows his way around a kitchen quite well. together, we all prepared a taste of home, sans cilantro. i never knew i should be thankful there is cilantro in switzerland. a life without cilantro?! mais non! c'est impossible!
once again, it was the comfort and love of being with someone from home that made the trip so nice (har har)... eating well was a bonus.
with some munchkin help, stacy made tortillas
after the first one was cooked, we had to give it a taste. you know, for scientific purposes.
and then, did we ever have ourselves a dinner!
we had great fun visiting a seaside castle, and exploring nearby villages. i breathed in as much seaside scented air as my lungs could handle.
it was fascinating reading julia child during my travels because my book intersected with real life. (sidenote: the flight is captivating--and how often does one say that about a flight? the plane left geneva, floated over the alps, and landed seaside). as the plane was touching down in nice, i was reading about julia discovering the côte d'azur. such unplanned timing!
My visit to mouans-sartoux was a voyage comme il faut. although i wasnt skipping around enjoying sights and smells noted by julia, it was enough to sit by the castle and read about her adventures as i stared at the same blue sea.
what a glorious vacation!
i returned home just in time for spring to spring into action here. the pollen is thick in the air; we think it's because the plantlife was holding its collective breath until the last of the snow melted and BAMMO! release.
this year though, i really dont mind my sniffles.